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After 47 years of work, we are bidding farewell to our biology laboratory assistant Margitta Heider, who is retiring.

Margitta Heider is probably not only one of the longest serving members of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine but of the entire University of Leipzig. She began her education as a biology laboratory assistant on 01.09.1973 in the Pathology Department. After finishing her apprenticeship, she changed to the scientific field of microbiology and infectious animal diseases, from which, after many structural changes, the Institute of Bacteriology and Mycology emerged, where she is still working today. Margitta Heider is a jack of all trades: she works in research, teaching and also in the stable. She supervises interns, students and doctoral candidates. But above all, she has been working in microbiological diagnostics for many years. She knows the world of bacteria inside out. Margitta Heider knows them all: streptococci, clostridia, salmonella and whatever else they are called. Many years ago, our laboratory technicians had to carry out morphological and physiological examinations to determine the identity of bacteria and fungi, which sometimes took several days. Today we use a MALDI-TOF-MS for the identification and differentiation of microorganisms. But Margitta Heider's diagnosis is almost as precise. One look at the agar plate, a glance under the microscope or in a test tube is enough for her and she trusts her sense of smell - and is usually right.

We will not only lack Mrs. Heider's extensive microbiological knowledge. We will also miss her warm and cheerful manner, her helpfulness, the relaxed sayings on her lips and her humour. The team of the Institute of Bacteriology and Mycology wishes Mrs Heider all the best for the future, good health and a well-deserved retirement.